There can’t be anyone who won’t be happy to see the back of 2020.
It has been truly grim – and it’s not over yet. As Property Week went to press, Brexit negotiations were on a knife edge (when haven’t they been?), there was talk of Christmas being cancelled and while the vaccine rollout was under way, the realisation was dawning that it will be too little too late to save the festive season.
At least there is light at the end of the tunnel in the form of multiple vaccines. Deal or no-deal Brexit, there is also a renewed sense of optimism across the property industry thanks to the green shoots of recovery in the investment market. The industry has never been inclined to throw in the towel, though, even when up against the most formidable of opponents – and Covid-19 has shown itself capable of throwing quite a punch.
Reading through our review of the year, I couldn’t believe how much activity there had been throughout 2020. Even the office market rolled with the punches. Many predicted its death when we all started working from home. Investors clearly didn’t get the memo.
Parts of the residential sector could have run screaming for the hills, too, but also held firm, notably the purpose-built student accommodation sector, and some sectors did better than survive, they thrived – industrial and logistics unsurprisingly deemed most likely to emerge strongest from the crisis.
That said, many parts of the industry will need to draw on all their reserves now that much of the UK, including London, is in tier three. Property Week columnist Steve Norris has argued from the start that the cure is worse than the disease and so it is proving, certainly for hospitality and retail.
They will need all the support they can get to get through this, not just from government but the wider industry, which will also suffer if they don’t bounce back. At Property Week, we will continue to try and do our bit, too. Despite facing challenges of our own this year, not least putting out a weekly magazine working from home and having to pivot our events to virtual, we introduced a raft of new content specifically to support the industry including: View from the Top; the Covid-19 Support Hub; Five Minutes With; and the brilliant Letter from New York series by columnist Steve Cuozzo.
We also hit the campaign trail with the Climate Crisis Challenge and Save the Office, were all over Zoom and Teams and continued to bring you all the latest news, analysis and thought leadership.
But the whole Property Week team has always gone above and beyond, and our efforts paid off earlier this year when we were named best business magazine brand of the year at the PPA Awards. Since then and against all the odds, we have gone from strength to strength, recently achieving a net audience figure of more than 365,000.
So, a massive thank you to all our readers and advertisers for continuing to support the magazine; thanks to our Climate Crisis Challenge partners, Client Solutions sponsors and event sponsors; thanks to all our columnists; and thanks most of all to the phenomenal Property Week team (you wouldn’t believe a third of the editorial team joined us just before or during lockdown). Wishing you all a merry Christmas… and a happier new year.